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El Dorado (1966) Poster

(1966)

Trivia

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The bathtub scene was largely Robert Mitchum's invention. Members of the crew were laughing while it was being filmed at the idea of Mitchum being embarrassed in front of a woman.
The opening credits feature a montage of original paintings that depict various scenes of cowboy life in the Old West. The artist was Olaf Wieghorst, who appears in the film as the Gunsmith, Swede Larsen.
Robert Mitchum's character was wounded and needed to use a crutch, but Mitchum would switch which arm he used with the crutch throughout shooting. The continuity was so poor that John Wayne (who actually worked continuity in silents while a star college football player, a method used by Hollywood fans to slip players some spending money) had his character mention it in one of the last scenes. Director Howard Hawks enjoyed it so much he left it in the movie. Mitchum's version of this story is that he objected but Hawks had him switch sides with the crutch based on what looked best in that scene. When Hawks saw how bad it looked in the dailies, Mitchum suggested the additional dialogue between his character and Wayne's to cover the gaffe.
A belt buckle that John Wayne sports in many scenes features the Red River D brand, an homage to his first collaboration with Howard Hawks, Red River (1948).
The movie is more or less a remake of Rio Bravo (1959), although Howard Hawks always denied this.
The poem recited by Mississippi is an actual poem called "El Dorado" by Edgar Allan Poe.
The scenes of the town during daytime were filmed on location, but all the nighttime scenes were filmed in the studio.
The bartender that Robert Mitchum's character shoots in the saloon is played by his brother, actor/writer John Mitchum.
James Caan has admitted he wore three-inch lifts in the movie.
Arch-conservative John Wayne did not get along with actor Edward Asner, whose politics were quite liberal, during filming, and constantly referred to Asner as "that New York actor". Asner later said he did not know if the phrase was intended to be an anti-Semitic insult.
According to writer Leigh Brackett, the scene where James Caan throws himself in front of the horses was used in Rio Bravo (1959) with Ricky Nelson, but it was cut from the final release.
The rifle that Bull uses is an 1855 Colt Revolving rifle.
Though John Wayne was playing an older character he declined to wear a gray toupee in the film. He would not be seen with gray hair until True Grit (1969).
John Wayne starred in Rio Bravo (1959), and after reading the script for El Dorado (1966) he asked to play J.P. Hara, but the part went to Robert Mitchum.
Robert Mitchum initially played the alcoholic sheriff as a weak and pathetic character, but Howard Hawks decided this was too similar to Dean Martin's portrayal of the drunken deputy in Rio Bravo (1959). Thereafter it was decided that Mitchum would play J.P. Harrah mostly for laughs.
Robert Mitchum revealed in an interview that when Howard Hawks asked him to be in the film, Mitchum asked what was the story of the film. Hawks reportedly replied that the story didn't matter because the film had some "great characters".
The poem "El Dorado" has four verses. James Caan's character recites three, omitting the second, which laments the aging knight's failure to locate El Dorado. He recites the first verse and part of the fourth riding with John Wayne after they meet for the first time, the third when Wayne is about to ride out for the final gunfight, and the complete fourth when he himself takes up the second wagon's reins.
John Wayne was disappointed that the movie was released at the same time as his next movie, The War Wagon (1967). However, despite this film receiving generally poor reviews and being seen as old-fashioned and out of tune with the times, both movies proved to be hugely successful at the box office.
Howard Hawks had a joke about the 58-year-old John Wayne's age by showing him getting to know a girl (played by Charlene Holt), as opposed to romancing the girl played by Angie Dickinson in Rio Bravo (1959).
According to James Caan, during a break he and John Wayne got into an altercation over a game of chess. Caan accused Wayne of cheating. Robert Mitchum intervened and cooled things down.
Most of the scenes showing John Wayne running were performed by a double.
John Wayne cocks a Winchester lever-action rifle with one hand by twirling it by its lever. The rifle used in that shot has an enlarged "D-loop" lever to make the trick easier. John Wayne used this type of modified Winchester and performed this trick in a number of his Westerns, beginning with Stagecoach (1939).
Shooting took 84 days. By the time the film was finished in late January 1966 it was 24 days over schedule.
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In one scene Bull plays his harmonica. If you listen carefully you'll hear that the tune sounds like "Love MeTender." It is most likely the Civil War song "Aura Lee" on which "Love Me Tender" was based. This would make more sense in the historical era of the story.
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Harry Brown wanted his novel, "The Stars in their Courses", removed from the opening credits because the film bore little resemblance to his book.
During pre-production John Wayne repeatedly asked Howard Hawks if he could play the drunk.
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Despite the fact that John Wayne had fired Robert Mitchum from Blood Alley (1955) ten years earlier, he was happy to work with Mitchum again, and they became good friends.
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James Caan's impersonation of a Chinese man is often cut from TV broadcasts because it is considered racist.
John Wayne (who played Cole Thornton) and Arthur Hunnicutt (Bull) both died in 1979.
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The film's release was delayed so that Paramount's Nevada Smith (1966) would not have to compete with a John Wayne film at the box office.
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Shooting started in late 1965. The movie was trade screened to exhibitors on 15 November 1966 but not released until June 1967.
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John Wayne and Arthur Hunnicutt both played Davy Crockett in films pertaining to the Alamo--Wayne in The Alamo (1960), Hunnicutt in The Last Command (1955).
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Members of the Western Writers of America chose the film's theme as one of the Top 100 Western songs of all time.
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Leigh Brackett wrote the original script which she described as "the best script I had ever done in my life. It wasn't tragic, but it was one of those things where Wayne died at the end." However she says the closer they got to production "the more we got into doing Rio Bravo (1959) over again the sicker I got, because I hate doing things over again. And I kept saying to Howard I did that, and he'd say it was okay, we could do it over again."
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The scene in which Thornton pushes one of McLeod's mooks through a door to be shot by his own men echoes a similar one from The Big Sleep (1946), which was also directed by Howard Hawks and written by Leigh Brackett.
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Body Count: 12.
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This was John Wayne's 138th film.
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The opening credits feature a montage of original paintings that depict various scenes of cowboy life in the Old West. The artist was Olaf Wieghorst, who appears in the film as the Gunsmith, Swede Larsen.
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A group singalong similar to the ones in Rio Bravo (1959) was cut.
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The cast includes two lead actors from the TV Western "The Rifleman" (1958): Johnny Crawford (Luke MacDonald) played the title character's son Mark McCain, while Paul Fix (Dr. Miller) played Marshal Micah Torrance. Additionally, in the series star Chuck Connors used a Winchester with a distinctive enlarged lever, similar to the kind John Wayne uses in the film and many other of his Westerns.
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Spoilers 

The trivia item below may give away important plot points.

The ingredients that Mississippi recites for Johnny Diamond's recipe to sober up J. P. Hara are: cayenne pepper, hot mustard powder, ipecac, asafoetida, and croton oil. Ipecac is a strong emetic, asafoetida is a spice known for its strong sulfurous odor, and croton oil is a potent purgative. Anyone who administered this combination in real life would likely be shot a day or two later when the patient could finally leave the outhouse, assuming the unfortunate victim had not died of dehydration from the violent fluid diarrhea croton oil causes. The recipe also called for gunpowder, which causes nausea

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